BRCA1 and BRCA2: The genetic testing and the current management options for mutation carriers

Marzia Palma, Elisabetta Ristori, Enrico Ricevuto, Giuseppe Giannini, Alberto Gulino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Approximately 5-10% of breast carcinomas and 10% of ovarian carcinomas are ascribable to a genetic susceptibility. Of these, about 40% are related to genetic mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Despite the increasing demand for genetic testing arising from the patients and their relatives, the genetic testing can be offered yet only to individuals belonging to high-risk families in which the probability that there is a germline mutation in a BRCA gene is high and thus cancer occurrence is likely the expression of a highly penetrant genetic predisposition. In this article, we review how the current knowledge on the biological mechanisms underlying BRCA1 and BRCA2 dysfunction may contribute to the understanding of breast and ovarian cancer predisposition. The most currently employed methods for genetic testing are critically overviewed, together with some indications for the interpretation of the test outcome and the clinical management of mutation carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • Breast cancer
  • Genetic testing
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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